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Harry Cox

(1885—1971) farmworker and singer


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b. 10 October 1885, Barton Turf, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, d. 6 May 1971, Catfield, Norfolk, England. One of a family of 13, he learned many of his songs from his father, a singer and dancer. His grandfather had been a farm worker, like Cox, but his father went to sea as a young man, learning many of his songs there, and living till the age of 92. Cox started singing in pubs all over Broadland (the area in Norfolk known as the Norfolk Broads) when he was about 11 years old, along with his father who played fiddle. Gradually, he learned more songs and was asked to sing more often. Over the years, Cox collected something over 100 local songs, which would otherwise have been lost. It was partly owing to this that Cox was acclaimed as ‘The Father of East Anglian Folk Music’. He recorded numerous tracks for compilation folk albums including Folk Song Today, released by EMI Records in 1956, on which he sang ‘Foggy Dew’. EMI Records also released an EP of Cox, Foggy Dew, in 1960. Seventeen Come Sunday comprised recordings made by PeterKennedy between 1953 and 1956. In 1970, Cox was honoured with the Gold Badge of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) for his services to folk music. He died the following year.

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From Encyclopedia of Popular Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.


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